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Graphics card or display?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 10, 2008 1:46:37 AM

I have an ATI X1600Pro (I know, I know) connected to a cheapo LCD monitor that I have had for about 2 years now. The problem is that I am now getting a 1.5 inch black bar all the way down the middle of the screen, that occasionally flashes, during the first portion of startup (mobo screen, pci device check, etc.) and during gaming. Desktop is fine, and nothing happens when doing more 'everyday' windows stuff (Word, Media Player, etc.). I'm wondering if this is the graphics card or the monitor going out. I tried switching from the digital monitor connection to the VGA, and I got the same thing -- well, the bar stayed solid-black more, with less flashing. The problem is hard to diagnose, because I only have the one monitor. I've rolled back Catalyst drivers, and I have also updated to the newest, but I get the same result. Any advice? Thanks!!!! (BTW, I have overclocked the card, on occasion, using atitool)
System Specs:
E4300@2.4 + Gigabyte DS3 mobo (temps are fine)
3GB Corsair XMS2Pro (running fine)
ATI HDTV Wonder (currently not working; maybe part of the prob?)
ATI X1600Pro 512 (culprit?)
Antec True Power Trio 550W (working fine)
USB and Firewire cards fill the other PCI slots (working fine)
2 HDDs (working fine)

More about : graphics card display

March 10, 2008 4:28:51 AM

I can not say 100% but that problem is super common on Nvidia cards. I know people that have purchased new displays and gpus and are still stuck with it. I am not supprised that an older ATI is doing it as I know the 9800 did as well. What causes it is beyond me but Going from my 7900GS to my 8800GT on a brand new system and display I am still stuck with that once and a while. I tested a few ATI models the last being the 3870-512 and I did not do it at all. On my 7900GS it was supper bad playing most games. IMO you are fighting a loosing battle. GL on trying to fix it unless someone else can help you better then me.
a c 171 U Graphics card
March 10, 2008 5:12:52 AM

If desktop is fine, but happens when gaming, then I would argue that it is most likely the card. If it was the monitor, then it would happen all the time, not just sometime. It seems to happen when the card is in 3D mode, or when the clocks are higher. To test this, try using an overclocking tool to down clock the card. The frame rates will be horrible, but if the bar goes away, you know what it is.

Its possible also that this is a heat problem. Open the case and remove the card. Blow out as much as the dust as you can. If it goes away then, you had a heat issue.
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March 10, 2008 5:19:59 AM

If your HDTV Wonder isn't working, I'd say you have a heat problem with your case. I had an older case with four 80mm fans, but it was in a hotter area in the townhouse and the old 1650 Pro AGP died on me (nothing else in the box did).

When I replaced that with an AIW 9800 Pro, it ran fine until a thunderstorm about a year later. It was a legacy PC with surge suppressor, not a Belkin UPS like our other PC's.

What kind of cooling do you have? Even if you don't game but can stand the blue lights, I recommend something in the range of an Antec Nine Hundred for cooling:



http://www.antec.com/us/productDetails.php?ProdID=15900
March 10, 2008 6:18:40 AM

Try ... Playing with the resolutions ... Force the little bastard with 3DMark. Also check it up on another monitor ... I can't say more /few years ago I had similar problem with a CRT monitor ... / Good luck!
a c 130 U Graphics card
March 10, 2008 8:03:12 AM


This may be crap as i just finished a night shift :pt1cable:  but it seems to me that if you move the image around, like you do when you are centering the picture on the screen, then if its the card the line will move with it and if its the monitor it will stay put.
Does that make sense or is it just me ?
Mactronix
March 12, 2008 3:22:27 AM

Thanks for the replies! Yeah Mactronix, that makes sense. I think I have fixed it, but I'm still not sure if I recognize the cause corectly. I have a dual-booter (XP pro and Vista pro), and the screen refresh rates were different under each OS. One was at 60hertz hertz, and the other was at 70hertz. I set them both to 70 hertz, and everything has been fine. This is strange, because the OS is not operating upon initial start-up, but maybe you all know something that I don't. Do the settings remain? Weird. My cooling is good, and temps are fair-to-good. I'm going to check on the HDTV Wonder this weekend and see what's going on. I rarely use it, so it has not bothered me much. Thanks again for all your help!!
!